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Resolute

2014 April 14
by Jill

curiosity

 

via

Today is 4.14.14, which is a palindrome–the same forwards as it is backwards, and it seems fitting to look back on where I’ve been so far this year. It’s a date burned into my memory for other reasons, too, and though it was not an easy weekend, I’m trying to keep a positive outlook today.

A few months ago, I wrote a post about my resolutions for the year.  I wanted to write a brief update reflecting on what I resolved and how much progress I’ve made in those resolutions. It’s good to be held accountable in a public space, and also, if you don’t look back at what you wanted, then they’re just more empty words, and I don’t need any more of those in my life.

Here is my original list, with my current comments:

  • No Fear.

This is a tough one to quantify, but I successfully packed up my things and said goodbye to New York, my dog, my friends, and my life there and moved to Boston, a place that once felt like home but now feels like just another strange city. But I faced it, and I continue to face it, and I don’t think I’ve said no to many opportunities or challenges, so I’m counting this one as a work in progress.

  • Finish a draft of my novel

Hahhahaha. There’s still time for this, right? I looked at what I wrote so far, that has to count for something…

  • Write every day, in some form

This one has been tougher than I thought. I’ve been decent at it, but not as disciplined as I would like. This is definitely something I need to continue to work on.

  • Take a writing class

Ding ding! I started a Master Fiction class at Grub Street a couple of weeks ago. It’s a good step forward for me, and I think I will learn a good deal about writing.

  • Take another class in something creative, like knitting or sewing

I’ve done a little bit of research and would like to take a sewing class in the fall, when my writing class is over and the weather starts to cool off again.

  • Submit, submit, submit (my writing)

This is also a work in progress. I’ve definitely been submitting, but since I  haven’t been writing as much as I would like, I don’t have a lot of work that I consider ready to submit. So, another work in progress.

  • Challenge myself at work. Take on new projects and explore new options.

Ugh, this is a big fail. I’ve definitely got a lot on my plate right now and I’m trying to take initiative and do more interesting and creative things, but I’ve been having a lot of trouble focusing lately, which is a big problem.

  • Get in the kitchen more–cooking, baking, whatever it is, I’m going to do it

Another fail. I’m just not into it. I’m getting used to cooking for myself again, and many times, it’s just so much easier to heat something up or eat ice cream than it is to spend time making a healthy dinner for just me. I have been good about buying groceries and making big salads to take for lunch during the week, though.

  • Get back into yoga–I miss it

I gave this one a fair shot. I took two weeks of classes at a yoga studio near my apartment and while I liked some of the classes, I have to admit to myself that yoga just isn’t for me. It exacerbates the pain and tension in my back too much. I’m giving it up.

  • Keep working out as a priority in my schedule–make it happen at least 4-5 times a week

Nope. Not doing so great with this one, honestly. I haven’t joined a gym, and it’s been really difficult to find the motivation to work out. But now that it’s nice out, I’ve been running more frequently and it’s been a little easier to get out of bed in the morning to work out. I’m optimistic.

  • Make new friends

I’m doing pretty well with this one, actually.

  • Reconnect with old friends and keep in touch with good friends–these last few weeks have also helped me appreciate what great friends I have

I’m doing okay with this one too. I miss my New York friends a lot, but I’m having a good time with my Boston friends and catching up with friends on the phone/via email more often than I used to.

  • See my family more often

I went down to RI for my sister’s birthday and it was nice to be able to do that–I look forward to more frequent trips like that.

  • Create a budget for myself and stick to it

I’ve never been much good at this. I’ve been budgeting, but the dinners and drinks I have with friends in order to be social and get out of the house really add up. I’m trying to pay more attention to that in particular as I figure out just what my Boston budget looks like.

  • Take a vacation–go somewhere new

I haven’t done this one yet, unfortunately, but I’m thinking about it a lot and hope to plan something in the near future.

  • Appreciate me, take care of me, allow me to make mistakes

Another tough one to quantify, and perhaps one of the toughest to implement as well. I’ll just call it a work in progress.

  • Use the Internet in a more productive way–too often I find myself scrolling endlessly through Tumblr and Pinterest just ogling the pretty pictures and feeling bad about myself. I want to read more articles, write more blog posts, learn more about the world and the people in it, not just the pretty things.

Fail, fail, fail. This is kind of hopeless.

  • Write more book reviews on the blog

I haven’t been amazing at this, but I also have been in a little bit of a reading rut. I will be better about this.

  • Have faith–in myself, my friends, the universe

Not doing so great with this one recently, but I’m trying. That’s all a person can do.

 

What were your New Years Resolutions? Have you been able to keep them?

5 Responses Post a comment
  1. kyley permalink
    April 14, 2014

    I was in a major reading rut (and, also, just a funky place in general) heading into the new year, so I really only made myself on goal: To read 50 pages a day for 30-60 days. This went really well! I even printed out a little calendar and recorded how I was doing. It really helped! I have already read more books this year than I did all of last year.

    The best part, though, is that in focusing on just one goal that I knew would make me happy–everything else started to improve. I was really lacking a sense of peacefulness in my life, and making the time to read a lot every day gave me that, and helped put everything else in perspective.

    Maybe if you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the goals, just focusing on, say, writing will help you make progress and feel like a rock star in that one area–which will then extend beyond just writing. (Anyway, you weren’t asking for advice, so feel free to disregard. I’m only sharing because it did the trick for me.)

    Also, I don’t know how interested you are in reading books written from a Buddhist perspective, but I just started reading this book: Fear by Thicht Naht Hanh, and I’m finding it really interesting and helpful. (http://www.amazon.com/Fear-Essential-Wisdom-Getting-Through/dp/0062004727)

  2. Meghan permalink
    April 14, 2014

    Hang in there, Jill. A lot of Kyley’s advice above is super helpful, I think. I’m a future-oriented person so I know how it can be when you set so many ambitious goals for yourself– it is very easy to feel disappointed when you don’t meet them. But I applaud you for your honest reappraisal and also admitting that some things just aren’t for you. I think too many of us (myself included!) think we can/should do it all. It just gets to be too much sometimes.
    It’s human nature to be optimistic and to keep planning goals and imagining the day where we’ll have our shit together. For me, I keep thinking when I finally finish school, get a “real” job, and hopefully someday have kids and a house then I’ll be “there” (utterly conventional, but true). But the goalposts are always moving. It’s good to strive but striving can also become its own burden.
    Is there a solution? Maybe super-micro goals can help. Or narrowing down your list to one or two key areas. I know I’m never going to get organized or run a marathon, but I can set a tiny goal of working on my dissertation for at least 1/2 hour per day. I fail even at that more times than I would like to admit. But if I look at it from the flip side, each half-hour down is a half-hour closer to my goal of being done.
    In the end I guess the best goal may be to be kind to yourself and to take each day as it comes. Remember that your worth as a person does not come from meeting or not meeting any of these goals. (I’m giving myself a pep talk in the form of advice to you, ha!) xo

  3. Amanda permalink
    April 15, 2014

    I personally think setting too many goals can be counterproductive and discouraging because you set yourself up for failure with unattainable goals. I agree with the advice above–focus on what you can realistically do, given your circumstances.

    Someone once told me to decide on two “must dos” a day. If you get them done by the end of the day, you’ve accomplished what you set out to do. If you get them done early, and maybe get around to the other “nice to do” things it’s a bonus. Either way, you don’t get down on yourself. :)

  4. Raquel permalink
    April 15, 2014

    It’s only April! You’re doing great so far! A lot of the things you have done have been big, major things, so give yourself a hearty pat on the back for accomplishing all that you have. And hey, that was a lot of goals on your list, so as others have said, take the best and leave the rest. :) If nothing else, this is shaping up to be a writerly year for you, so that’s fantastic.

    FWIW, I’d LOVE to learn how to sew or embroider or some other fun fabric thing, so maybe we can find a crafty class to take together. :) ACCOUNTABILITY!

  5. April 16, 2014

    You put together a great list of resolutions, and I think you’re doing great. Your list is pretty long, so it’s probably not feasible to make progress on everything all at once.

    My resolution was to come up with a plan (and save up enough money) to quit my high-stress job and do something I really enjoy. I did at least manage to identify something I’d actually like to do, which is baking and canning. For ages I thought I ought to be a writer, but I’m feeling ambivalent about a career as a writer.

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